Iran says nuclear site cleanup claims ‘preposterous’

Tehran’s UN mission insists activity seen by satellites is road repair, blasts ‘extensive vicious campaign’ against nuke deal

Satellite image of the Parchin facility, April 2012 (AP/Institute for Science and International Security)
Satellite image of the Parchin facility, April 2012 (AP/Institute for Science and International Security)

UNITED NATIONS — Iran on Thursday dismissed as “preposterous” claims that it was cleaning up its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin ahead of inspections agreed under a nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations said in statement that “extensive construction work” was underway to repair a road near the Parchin complex but denied this amounted to a “hasty cover-up.”

The statement was in response to media reports quoting US members of Congress and the Washington think-tank Institute for Science and International Security who said the work at the military complex, seen in satellite footage, could complicate inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA that are a key provision of the deal.

“These claims are preposterous and the repetition of the similar unfounded claims that reappear from time to time and have been disproved each time,” said the Iranian statement.

Iran argued that the Parchin military complex covers a “very vast area” and that it was “quite normal to have construction works underway at any time.”

Over the past week, a road near the Mamloo Dam, which is near Parchin, required repairs using heavy bulldozers and other heavy construction machinery, it added.

“We regret that the extensive vicious campaign at work, using tens of millions of dollars, to poison the positive environment at the global level, which followed the conclusion of the JCPOA” nuclear deal, the statement said.

Iran reiterated that it never engaged in nuclear military activity “that would need a hasty cover-up.”

International Atomic Energy Agency director Yukiya Amano on Wednesday met lawmakers who are deeply skeptical of the deal that will lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran’s commitment to curb its nuclear activities.

The nuclear deal has run into fierce opposition from Israel, and from many Republicans and some Democrats on Capitol Hill. Some Arab governments have voiced concerns as well.

US lawmakers will vote in September on whether to endorse the deal.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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